Today I think of myself as a little toy car. Perhaps you know the kind. To play with it, you drag it backwards across the floor, then let it go as you watch it zoom forward. As 2022 draws to a close, I emulate the car. I look backward in order to move ahead. Surely experiences of 2022 will inform the new year.
Patience in all things:
In the spring, our family celebrated Passover and took a miraculous photo of all ten grandkids squished together on the sofa. The miraculous-ness of it was in the fact that we were inside and together after two previous Passovers where that was not the case. In 2021, the youngest member of our clan was only four and not immunized, so we celebrated in the garage with the doors open, our version of outside and at a distance. Prior to that, Passover 2020 found us in the early stage of lockdown where the drive-by-and-wave form of togetherness was our only option. In each instance we were flexible and found joy.
As much as I try to convince myself that we are in the post-pandemic era, of course that’s not the case. In September, I flew for the first time since 2020’s lockdown. I traveled to New York to meet up with a friend from Philly. While there, she and I visited with four friends. Within two days of our return home, four out of six of us tested positive for Covid-19. Most of us had mild cases, but still, there it was impacting our lives teaching us again the need for patience.
Of course, there is another teacher of patience as the economy – and I – wait for the stock market to rebound.
It’s important to change things up:
A pithy quote tells us, “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten.” This truth proved itself to me several times during the year. First, my body became stiff and lost some of its flexibility. As an example, my exercise routine includes a simple side bend. I’d put my feet shoulder length apart, raise my left hand overhead, then lean to the right allowing my right hand to travel down my right leg. But then out of the blue, it started to hurt my back to even stand with one hand raised. Bending was not an option.
I am a person who has walked an hour a day five days a week for over thirty years; I have worked out with a personal trainer for more than a dozen. My immediate response to a physical problem was to add more walking or exercising though the thought of MORE was overwhelming. It was my trainer who suggested I change things up instead. Taking a day off from walking, I added a yoga class in its place. In almost no time, I was doing side bends again. This makes perfect sense since some of my yoga exercises mimic physical therapy exercises I’ve done in the past.
Another thing I changed up this year is my hairdresser. For months, I had complained and complained and complained about my hair. It didn’t really dawn on me to make a change. Duh! But then a friend told me about her wonderful new hair dresser and soon he was my wonderful new hairdresser too.
Hmmm, I wonder: If I think about other complaints in my life, are there simple changes to fix them as well? Great food for thought in 2023.
When you get a reality check, heed it:
During the summer, various grandkids were at my house for the day. One of them said something to me that I didn’t hear and I asked her to repeat. That child’s sibling said to her, “You need to look at Marmel when you talk, and you need to speak slowly and clearly.” Guess who got hearing aids shortly thereafter?
Time marches on:
There were many milestones for our family this year. The youngest grandchild started kindergarten, while the oldest got her driver’s license. I didn’t fully realize that I now have three grandgirls in high school until I saw photos of them in their beautiful homecoming dresses this fall. It is trite to say but very true: It seems like yesterday that we had a houseful of people here helping my daughter – now 39 – dress for that special occasion.
And I guess I should mention I reached a milestone this year too. I turned 70!
Like the toy car starting this story, the years zoom by, clearly reminding us to make the most of each day. 365 new ones await us in 2023. Tank filled with all the lessons of the past, I eagerly move forward.
Wishing everyone a happy and healthy new year, I am very sincerely yours,
If you like my writing, did you know I have four books in print? They are all available on my Etsy shop. My newest book, Love, Loss, and Moving On, is also available on Amazon. Please have a look and tell a friend!